Free Transform Tool in Illustrator



Free Transform Tool is located in the tools board and it allows you to apply the following actions to an object: scale objects, rotate objects, reflect an object, shear an object and change perspective of an object. In this post I am going to detail all of the above mentioned actions.

Free Transform Tool
Free Transform Tool location

In order to transform an object we have to create it first. I will create a simple diamond using Polygon Tool (set the side value to 4 if you want to create a diamond). Here is what I have created.

Create a diamond in Illustrator
Create a diamond

Scale objects with Free Transform Tool

  1. Select the object then click on Free Transform Tool
  2. Eight white little squares will appear
  3. Hover over the mouse on those squares, the cursor changes (2 arrows facing different directions)
  4. Click on one of the squares and scale the object
  5. Hold Shift while you are scaling to maintain proportions
Scale an object
Scale an object

Rotate objects with Free Transform Tool





  1. With the shape selected click on Free Transform Tool
  2. Move the cursor a little way away from the edge of a white square
  3. The mouse icon changes again to two arrows in a circular direction
  4. This allows you to rotate the object (hold Shift when rotating and the angles will snap to 45 and 90 degree angles)
Rotate an object with Free Transform Tool
Rotate an object

Reflect an object with Free Transform Tool (for this action I am using a logo I have created long time ago)

  1. With the object selected click on Free Transform Tool
  2. Mouse over any handle. I choose a vertical reflection
  3. Drag the double arrow pointer from up to down
  4. This creates a reflection of my logo
  5. To keep proportions of the original logo hold down shift key
Reflect an object using Free Transform Tool
Reflect an object

Shear an object

  1. Select the object with Selection Tool
  2. Click on Free Transform Tool
  3. Mouse over a handle. Click and drag from left to right (hold down Ctrl + Alt while you are dragging)
  4. If you mouse over the top handle then click and drag from up to down, of course hold down Ctrl + Alt while you are dragging
Shear an object vertically
Shear an object vertically

Perspective

  1. To distort in perspective way I have to create Outlines (Type > Create Outlines) because I use font in this step, not an image. If you use an image then you can skip this step.
  2. Select the object then click on Free Transform Tool
  3. Click on the corner of the shape, hold it, then hold down Ctrl and start dragging
  4. Hold down Shift + Ctrl + Alt and continue dragging to distort symmetrically
  5. When you are happy with the distort shape, first release the mouse button then the keyboard keys
  6. There are three more other ways to achieve this effect (Effect > 3D > Rotate, Effect > Warp and the third Object > Envelope Distort)
Perspective with Free Transform Tool
Perspective with Free Transform Tool


Subscribe by email

No Comments - Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>